Dining Experience.

Earl and I decided to treat ourselves for lunch today and go to the Applebee’s that’s not too far away, using one of our holiday gift certificates in the process. Trying to stay within the realm of good health, I ordered a “Confetti Chicken” dish from the Weight Watchers menu, Earl ordered a grilled chicken salad from the same selection.

Mine was quite yummy.

Earl wasn’t as thrilled with his dish.

I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a fresh selection of vegetables in a salad. Unfortunately, Applebee’s felt differently because Earl had an assortment of wilted and browning salad greens in his dish. The very kind server came over and asked how we were enjoying our meal. Earl’s first response was “Honestly?” I then gripped the table in preparation for what was to follow. Actually, I was expecting his standard, “This is the worst meal I’ve had in my life”, but he didn’t say that, instead he expressed his understable disappointment with his meal. The server looked as if she had been stabbed but she apologized for the meal and offered to get another; Earl replied that he would just pick at what he had since he was pressed for time.

We were expecting the manager to come over after the server flew back to the kitchen, but the manager never arrived. The server even asked if we had talked to the manager as she had requested their presence, but apparently they don’t work during the busy lunch hour or something.

After the initial discussiong with the server, Earl and I continued to eat in silence. It wasn’t that I was embarassed or upset by his honesty with the server, quite the contrary, I’m glad he had said something. It was just that I felt that this was another notch in what I was sensing to be a bad day for him. So I broke the silence with a simple question.

“Do you think you’ve had a mid-life crisis, are having a mid-life crisis, or haven’t had one yet?”

I don’t know why I asked that, as he’s probably one of the most grounded people I’ve ever met in my life, but he shot me a look that said, “I’m am not having a mid-life crisis”, before he calming said, “Why do you ask?”. Not knowing how to gracefully dig myself out of that conversational vacuum, I simply replied with “oh, I was just curious.” Things were fine after that.

Small wonder I played it safe tonight and served up a pancake supper. There wasn’t a vegetable in sight.

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